It's a good tool for those with limited time, but your dog still needs outdoor walks and other such activities for socialization and exploration.
Dogs should be trained to the treadmill, it 'can' be a scary thing, so slow desensitization to it is reccomended. I know many show people that use portables to keep their dogs in top condition, so it's pretty common. I'm actually thinking about getting one for the Dobie to use, she could use some more activity LOL, she's starting to get a little fat!
I just got back from taking my aussie running (finally nicer weather!). But I agree a treadmill should go hand-in-hand with the time an owner puts into walks and play.
I am curious though what other people's experiences have been, if it is practical or not.
I use mine in the winter time mostly to make up for lack of walks or on rainy, nasty days in the spring. I'll also use it if I need to take some edge off if I'm running late on a day or have to work all day then come home and I have 30mins before I have to take off with the dog somewhere. Since I can just set in front of the treadmill and put makeup on or get dressed.
A treadmill is a great tool. If you have a dog-powered mill, it can be a good form of exercise. The motorized treadmills are good exercise for smaller dogs, and those with more modest exercise requirements.
A dog like mine with "big wheels" just can't get enough exercise on a motorized mill, unless you have the speed and incline turned up to where the dogs safety is at risk. At top speed, one misstep would put the dog through the wall. One benefit, however, is the focus a treadmill demands from the dog. If he gets distracted, he starts going backward and he self-corrects. My dog doesn't like going backward. The demand for the dog's focus seems to have a positive effect on his attitude, and seems to trim his sails as much or more than the physical workout. 30 minutes at an easy trot just won't scrub off a whole lot of energy.
If you have a large breed dog, you'll want a treadmill with a long bed. We got a "health club quality" treadmill with a big track bed. The quieter motors of the better units are an advantage, too.
As a side note: never pay retail for exercise equipment. Always buy second-hand. People buy these things, use them a few times, and then they become pieces of ugly furniture with clothes draped over them, and boxes piled on the track bed.
A few of my old dogs ran on the treadmills as a regular part of their exercise regime. Oliver ran a few times on a treadmill but then I got rid of my treadmill and now he only goes on grandmas treadmill on occasion. Carsten wants NOTHING to do with the treadmill. He has smaller exercise requirements anyway so it is not an issue with him. Sort of the advantage of owning a slug.
We have a large yellow lab and I can't get him to walk/run on the treadmill, I have tried and he always jumps off, my husband thinks you have to have it running and then put him on but nothing works, I have tried with the lead etc so I am interested to hear HOW you got the dog to get on the moving treadmill and actually walk or run. I have had multiple spine surgeries so some days are just not good for me to do long walks so I thought this would be a good alternative. Any advice would be helpful.
Yeah that would be nice but we have no parks anywhere here we live on farm so have unlimited places to walk my main concern is my body and the inability to walk as often as the dog needs I just thought the treadmill might be helpful
I used to let Thunder walk and run on a treadmill. The vet recommended it after he diagnosed Thunder with hip dysplasia and muscle atrophy (sp?). We started out with a flat surface and eventually raised the treadmill so that it was like walking up hills. Now that we live out in the country though, he gets plenty of varied exercise and we don't need the treadmill anymore.
There's an exercise facility where I live and I did try to get my then young dog to use it. She was very scared and I didn't know how to train her at the time. I would like to start over now, but unfortunately, the managment has now banned animals from the facility. I'm sure there were those who abused the situation or weren't respectful of the other residents, but whatever. It's out of th question now. Someday, if I am able to, I'd buy a special dogging treadmill because I so believe in exercise and can see how much it benefits the dog.